No Longer Invincible – Letter to the Editor – Issue 9

Jessica Britton, Contributing Writer

No Longer Invincible

-Jessica N. Britton

 

I could have been just another number,

part of the statistic on the big, white projector

looming over the whole auditorium with a silence

that speaks volumes. 53 + one. 54.

Yes, that could have been you or I

facedown on the bathroom floor

purging ourselves of our hopes, dreams, accomplishments.

They don’t mean much when you’re dead.

They’re gone, fade into the darkness that you and I

call a blackout. We thought it was cool,

a competition of sorts to see who could forget the fastest,

forget the emotions we carried with us

throughout the day, forget the emotions we knew

were coming tomorrow, so we drank more.

We drank until our faces went numb and our thoughts disappeared.

Only the moment mattered, except now we can’t remember the moment.

 

All you can remember is waking up in a sterile hospital room,

an IV protruding from your left hand, a heart monitor beeping on your right side,

your parents audibly weeping in two chairs near your bedside,

thankful you opened your eyes, because they were told you might not,

thankful your friends called when they found you unresponsive

on your freshman hall, a place they thought was safe.

A place they thought would teach you to grow and learn.

Instead, it taught you how to quickly take five shots in five minutes

so you could “catch a buzz” before your RA caught you.

It taught you the only way to fit in was to drink three nights a week

and neglect the grades you have always worked so hard to maintain,

neglect personal responsibility and accountability.

 

54, maybe more. I encourage you to ask yourself if that could have been you,

just another statistic.

Another reason why the culture needs to change.

Why we must look out for our fellow peers, friends, sisters, and brothers.

Another reason no parent deserves to receive that dreaded call in the middle of the night, We need you to get here as soon as possible. It may be too late.

 

I promise you it is not too late. We must take action.

We must be the change we wish to see.

Be the change you wish to see in others.

You might be surprised to see them begin to change themselves.

It only takes one person.

I encourage you to be that one person,

who initiates the change this University so desperately needs.

Not the one person who increases the statistic,

whose number with mournful hearts we all read.

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